Safe Sport


The United States Olympic Committee's top priority is to protect, support and empower every athlete in our community. We recognize that the system failed too many girls and women, and we have already taken many important steps - including commissioning an independent investigation and demanding a complete leadership and culture change at USA Gymnastics. But we are not standing still. On February 28, the USOC announced additional reforms and new initiatives designed to help protect athletes from abuse and respond quickly and effectively when issues surface.

 

About

Sport plays a significant role in the lives of children, and as the national steward for sport in the United States, the United States Olympic Committee has an important responsibility to create positive, safe and secure environments for American athletes. To further advance the safety and well-being of all U.S. athletes – regardless of age, gender or sport – the USOC has invested in programs to shape the foundation of the safe sport movement nationally.

In 2010, the USOC convened the Working Group for Safe Training Environments and charged it with the task of developing a set of recommendations concerning misconduct in sport.

Following the Working Group’s recommendations, in early 2012, the USOC launched its SafeSport initiative, delivering a first-of-its-kind abuse prevention program that was shared through an engaged network comprised of 47 NGBs and 34 Multi-Sport Organizations with a combined reach of 73 million members. Participating organizations were encouraged to develop and tailor the SafeSport program to meet their unique needs.  

In June 2014, the USOC reaffirmed its commitment to advance the safety and well-being of American athletes by approving the creation of the U.S. Center for SafeSport – an independent entity designed to oversee education programs, and investigate and adjudicate sexual misconduct claims in sports that are managed by USOC-sanctioned NGBs. Participation in the entity – which launched in March 2017 – is a condition of continued membership in the USOC.

USOC Athlete Safety Policy
NGB Athlete Safety Policy


U.S. Center for SafeSport

The U.S. Center for SafeSport is the first and only national organization of its kind focused on ending all forms of abuse in sport. As an independent non-profit headquartered in Denver, the Center provides consultation to sport entities on prevention techniques and policies, while developing best practices and educational programs focused on promoting athlete well-being and putting an end to emotional and physical abuse in sports. The Center also provides a safe, professional and confidential place for individuals to report sexual abuse within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements.

SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement
U.S. Center for SafeSport Helpline

 

FAQ

What is the USOC's Athlete Safety Policy?
The USOC's Athlete Safety Policy applies to USOC employees, coaches, contracted staff, volunteers, board members, committee and task force members, and other individuals working with athletes or other sport participants while at a U.S. Olympic Training Center, or a USOC-sponsored or delegation event; athletes training and/or residing at an OTC or a delegation event; individuals the USOC formally authorizes, approves or appoints (a) to position of authority over or (b) in frequent contact with athletes. It prohibits all forms of misconduct, including sexual, emotional, physical, bullying, harassment and hazing as set out in the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement as adopted by the U.S. Center for SafeSport.  

What is the U.S. Center for SafeSport's SafeSport Code? 
The SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement defines and prohibits six primary types of misconduct, including sexual, emotional, physical, bullying, harassment and hazing. It applies to any individual who (a) currently is, or was at the time of a possible violation, within the governance or disciplinary jurisdiction of a National Governing Body or who is seeking to be within the governance or disciplinary jurisdiction of an NGB (e.g., through application for membership), (b) is an athlete or non-athlete participant that an NGB or the USOC formally authorizes, approves or appoints to a position of authority over athletes, or to have frequent contact with athletes or (c) an NGB identifies as being within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Center for SafeSport's Response and Resolution Office.

Why was the U.S. Center for SafeSport originally created? 
In 2010, the USOC determined that sexual and physical abuse warranted greater attention and convened a working group of internal and external experts to provide recommendations about how to improve the community's prevention and response efforts. As the recommendations were implemented, the USOC concluded that the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements would benefit from the creation of an independent entity dedicated to investigating and resolving all allegations of sexual abuse associated with any of the USOC's recognized NGBs. 

How much funding does the USOC dedicate to safe sport? 
Beginning in 2018, the USOC will effectively double its funding for the U.S. Center for SafeSport to enable the hiring of more investigators and staff, improve the timely resolution of cases, enhance ongoing communication for victims and their families, provide age-appropriate training on recognizing and helping to prevent abuse, and offer better and more accessible resources online.